New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers took time from rescuing lost and injured recreationists over Labor Day Weekend to deal with a camper firing a gun in a crowded state campground and a group of drunk and disorderly campers.
On Thursday, August 31st at about 8:04 pm, Forest Ranger Temple and the New York State Police responded to a report of a camper shooting at a black bear at Limekiln Lake Campground in the town of Inlet, Hamilton County. Ranger Temple reported they spoke to campground staff and other visitors and determined a camper tried unsuccessfully to scare off a bear eating food from a container.
When the airhorn failed to convince the bear to move, the camper fired a gun in the bear’s direction. There is no indication the bear was struck. Tickets were issued to the 75-year-old camper from Cuyler, Cortland County, for possessing and discharging a firearm in a campground. The camper was also evicted from the campground.
Limekiln Lake Campground is frequently visited by black bears. Campgrounds visitors should follow the following guidance to reduce potential bear conflicts:
- Keep campsites as clean as possible;
- Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins clean when not in use;
- Leave coolers and food inside car trunks or truck cabs;
- Store food and coolers in food lockers when available;
- NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in tents when camping. Store toiletries securely with coolers and food;
- Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse in the fireplace; and
- Dispose of garbage in the campground’s dumpsters every evening.
On Sunday, September 3rd at about 1:55 pm, Forest Ranger Lieutenant Kerr responded to Caroga Lake Campground in the the town of Caroga, Fulton County, for a report of drunk and disorderly campers. When Lt. Kerr arrived, one of the individuals allegedly drove off and Kerr stopped the vehicle and conducted a field sobriety test. The driver, who had a 14-year-old in the car, had a preliminary BAC of .19 per cent according to the Ranger.
The 41-year-old adult driver from Schenectady was transferred to New York State Police for processing.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.